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After Trading Russell Westbrook, Thunder’s 2020 NBA Championship Odds Continue to Plummet

Russell Westbrook rises up for a shot.
The Oklahoma City Thunder appear to be in tank mode after trading away Russell Westbrook. Photo by Keith Allison (flickr) [CC License].
  • The Oklahoma City Thunder have traded Russell Westbrook to the Oklahoma City Thunder
  • They also traded Paul George and Jerami Grant this offseason
  • The Thunder’s odds were once at +2800 to win the 2020 NBA Championship but now they’re among the biggest longshots

The Oklahoma City Thunder have cleared the deck as they’ve shipped away Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets. As a result, General Manager Sam Presti has collected a bushel of first-round picks between now and the 2026. But focusing on this year, are the Thunder worth betting to win the Championship?

Odds to Win 2020 NBA Championship

Team 2020 NBA Championship Odds at BetOnline
Los Angeles Clippers +350
Los Angeles Lakers +500
Milwaukee Bucks +500
Houston Rockets +800
Philadelphia 76ers +900
Golden State Warriors +1400
Utah Jazz +1400
Boston Celtics +2000
Brooklyn Nets +3300
Portland Trail Blazers +3300
Oklahoma City Thunder +15000

*Odds taken 07/12/19

Thunder’s Odds Take a Dive

It’s hard to believe that the Thunder were a 49-win team last season. It’s just a distant memory at this point.

When they entered the offseason, they were at +2800 in terms of their 2020 NBA Championship odds. Then the shocking news broke of the Paul George trade and they dipped to +5000. They dumped Jerami Grant for a first-round pick and now they’ve fallen all the way down to +15000  after trading away Westbrook.

What’s Left on the Roster?

The good news for the Thunder is the cupboard is not completely bare, but it’s definitely lacking a lot of quality now. They did pick up Chris Paul, Danilo Gallinari and Shai Gilgeos-Alexander. That means they’re looking at a starting lineup of Paul, Andre Roberson, Gallinari, Mike Muscala, and Steven Adams.

What’s missing is star power. This team won 49 games on the backs of George and Westbrook; a 34-year-old Chris Paul isn’t going to take them far. With a superstar, this cast is a playoff team in the East and one that pushes for .500 in the West. Without one, this team is among the worst in the NBA.

Thunder Can’t Contend in the West… And They Don’t Plan To

Let’s take an updated look at the Western Conference. There’s Kawhi Leonard and Paul George with the Clippers, LeBron James and Anthony Davis with the Lakers, Westbrook and James Harden with Houston, while the Utah Jazz, Denver Nuggets, and Portland Trail Blazers are all stronger than last season.

Then there’s the San Antonio Spurs, who are steady, and improved teams like the New Orleans Pelicans and Dallas Mavericks. The Thunder have not only fallen from playoff contention, they’re now competing with the Phoenix Suns for the worst record in the West.

Beyond that, don’t be surprised if the Thunder look to buyout Paul or move him somewhere else. They want to clear playing time for Gilgeous-Alexander. The same could go for Gallinari. It isn’t that the Thunder won’t contend, it’s that they don’t want to.

What’s the Best Bet?

When the Oklahoma City Thunder regular season win totals pop up again, bet the under. And if you’re looking at who to bet in the Western Conference, take your pick from any one of the top contenders like the Clippers, Lakers, Rockets, Jazz, or Nuggets. Parity is at an all-time high in the league.

Just don’t put money on any Thunder props that tie them to success. They’ve cleared the deck and will be in full-on tank mode next season.

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